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TikTok star encourages Princess Royal to take up organ and play at Windsor

Anna Lapwood after being made an MBE by the Princess Royal during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Anna Lapwood after being made an MBE by the Princess Royal during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

An organist, conductor and Tiktok star has said she told the Princess Royal to take up the organ and play at Windsor Castle.

Anna Lapwood, who was made an MBE for services to music in the New Year Honours, has been dubbed the “TikTok organist” after videos of her playing have attracted 25 million likes.

At an investiture at Windsor on Wednesday, she said she encouraged Anne to play the castle’s organ.

Ms Lapwood said: “I said ‘Have you ever had to go on the organ?’ and she said ‘No, I haven’t, I think it’s a bit late’.

“And I was like ‘Oh, I think you can I think you could do it, you should do it’.”

She also said that they had talked about the importance of making women feel comfortable in music.

She said: “(We spoke) about how important it is to give them a space and say ‘You are so welcome here’, particularly with the previously male-dominated worlds, like the organ world.”

Ms Lapwood also said that being made an MBE was a moment of “public recognition” for the organ.

“I feel like it’s this really important moment of recognition, particularly with the organ.

“I feel like the organ is one of those instruments that can get pushed to one side, but then, actually, no this has been publicly recognised.

“As a woman in music, and a young woman in music, there can be this thing the whole time where you feel as if ‘am I doing things right?’”

She added: “And it feels like this little moment of saying, you have done something right, which might sound minor but actually feels like a huge privilege.”

Queen Elizabeth II death
Screen grab of Anna Lapwood, who had an impromptu duet with a security guard in a tribute following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 (Handout/PA)

Ms Lapwood also admitted she had previously been told to “play more like a man”.

“I’ve definitely, over the course of my career, had moments of being told to play more like a man, or whatever it is.

“And I’m just basically trying to help create a world where that kind of comment just wouldn’t be let go.”

Ms Lapwood, who is also director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and established a girls’ choir at the college, said she was travelling straight back from the investiture to do a choir rehearsal in her outfit.

She said: “I’m going straight back to a girls’ choir rehearsal, literally in this dress, going straight like that.

“And I have moments where I’m like, oh, I’m so tired, do I want to do a rehearsal? And then the joy you get from watching young people make music that never leaves you.”